Morgantown is known as the home of West Virginia University, the inspiration for a Joni Mitchell song and the birthplace of Don Knotts. And it's also known for its wonderful trails: the Mon River Rail-Trail System. The nexus of this 45-mile trail system is Hazel Ruby McQuain Park in downtown Morgantown. Located adjacent to a restored railway station, the park is a vibrant hub of local activity, with a steady stream of walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists. The rail-trail that runs through the park-stretching 6.5 miles to the north and 19.5 miles to the south-hugs the Monongahela River, one of a few American rivers that flows north. The "Mon" eventually arrives in Pittsburgh, where it joins the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River.
This system of trails, which follows a former CSX rail line, comprises four segments, each with their own name.
The Mon River Trail South begins where the paved trail becomes crushed stone at the southern edge of Morgantown (also the southern end of the Caperton section
. From there, it meanders for 17.8 miles to Pricketts Fort State Park. The Mon South lazily winds through a wooded river valley with many scenic river views, occasional waterfalls and a variety of wildflowers in the spring and autumn.
At the southern end at Pricketts Fort, pick up the MC Trail
Park at the Uffington boat dock, off of County Route 73, where I-79 crosses the river. Parking is also available at the southern end at Pricketts Fort.